How to Get More Clients as a Therapist
According to the 2017 BACP members survey, half of therapists are, like you, working for themselves in private practice. There are many positives to being your own boss, not least the freedom to choose when, how, and with whom you work. However, there are undoubtedly some challenges too. In the same survey, 49% of BACP members said finding paid work was their biggest challenge.
Having enough clients to sustain your business is crucial to your success. It would be best if you employed effective strategies to stand out in such a competitive industry. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll talk you through some tactics to help you get more clients as a therapist.
Choose a Niche.
You might be tempted to tick every box on the ‘areas of counselling covered’ section of your therapist directory listing, in the hope that it will bring you more clients. Surely the more specialities you offer means a bigger pool of potential clients? Wrong. Many of the most successful practitioners have found that the opposite is true and that specialising is the key to attracting clients. By trying to appeal to everyone, you become a generalist rather than a specialist. Therapy clients want the latter over the former!
Niching down the type of services you provide can also help you focus your marketing efforts on a specific group of clients. Don’t waste your valuable time fielding enquiries for services you don’t provide. Understand your niche and you will be able to create an effective marketing method that will appeal to your ideal client.
Attend networking groups.
A great way to expand your network and reach potential clients is to attend networking groups in your area. These are events where professionals from different industries and backgrounds meet and exchange information, ideas, and contacts. By attending these events, you can introduce yourself and your practice to other professionals who might be interested in your services or who might know someone who is. You can also learn from other therapists who have experience in running a successful private practice and get valuable insights and advice from them.
List your practice on relevant directories.
One of the first places people look when they need a therapist is online directories. These are websites that list therapists by location, speciality, fees, availability, and other criteria. By listing your practice on relevant directories, such as Psychology Today or Good Therapy, you can increase your online presence and exposure to potential clients who are searching for a therapist in your area. You can also showcase your qualifications, services, and contact details on these directories and make it easy for people to find and contact you.
Although therapists do not have to register with UKCP, BACP or any other organisation, I would recommend doing so. Choosing a therapist who is registered with an official body reassures clients about your training, professionalism, and qualifications. They can be assured you’re committed to following ethical codes and standards and undertaking ongoing training.
Create a professional website.
Another essential tool for getting more clients as a therapist is having a professional website. A website is like your online business card that tells people who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. A business website can also help you establish your credibility and authority in the mental health field by displaying your credentials, testimonials, awards, publications, media appearances, and other achievements. It will help you generate more leads and conversions by providing useful information, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, eBooks, newsletters, or webinars, that can educate and engage your audience and persuade them to book a session with you.
In today’s digital age, a big part of understanding how to get clients as a therapist is knowing the power of your online presence. A well-designed website is essential for attracting new clients online. You can use platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to create a professional-looking website quickly and easily.
Leverage social media platforms.
Having a business profile on social media platforms is another powerful way to get more clients as a therapist. Social media allows you to connect with millions of users who might be interested in your services or who might know someone who is. By leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, you can promote your practice, share your content, interact with potential clients, build trust and rapport with them, and drive more traffic to your website or landing page.
You can also use social media platforms to join relevant groups or communities where you can offer value and demonstrate your expertise by answering questions or providing advice on mental health topics.
Maximize word-of-mouth referrals.
Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most powerful forms of marketing for any business, especially for therapists. Word-of-mouth referrals are when satisfied clients recommend your services to their friends, family members, co-workers, or acquaintances who might need them. It is a highly effective way of attracting new clients because they are based on trust and personal experience rather than paid advertising or promotion.
To maximise word-of-mouth referrals, you need to provide excellent services and exceed your client’s expectations. You also need to encourage your clients to leave positive reviews or testimonials on your website, social media profiles, or online directories.
Consider working with insurance companies.
Accepting client referrals from insurance companies has its advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, you will undoubtedly have access to more clients. However, you might find you have reduced autonomy and flexibility in setting fees and session length, along with increased paperwork and reporting requirements.
Some of the major insurance companies that cover therapy services in the UK are AXA, AVIVA, Bupa, WPA and Vitality. You can find more information about their requirements and benefits on their websites or by contacting them directly. For example, AXA requires therapists to be accredited by a recognised professional body, such as the HCPC or BPS, and to have at least two years of post-qualification experience. Bupa offers therapists access to their Finder platform, where they can promote their practice and receive referrals from Bupa customers.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of attracting more clients and growing your private practice. Remember, getting more clients is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires consistent effort and dedication. So, don’t give up and keep working on your marketing strategy until you achieve your desired results.
I am always happy to talk through more strategies with you. If you’d like to book a FREE 30-minute CONSULTATION, then click the link to schedule a time that suits you.